6 thoughts on “What Does It Feel Like To Be Adopted? – National Adoption Week

  1. Hey Kate
    I have two adopted brothers and an adopted niece and nephew. My brothers were very different to us, they were both black and adopted in the 70s when having a black baby in a white family was really controversial. However my mother was a fervent (still is) catholic and so she felt that by adopting black babies she would get more sympathy and attention. That sounds harsh but knowing my mother as I do now, I know that would have been one of her prime motives.

    I don’t know how my brothers felt about it all. My elder brother has always struggled with his adoption but as far as we were concerned, they were our brothers just as if they had been born to my mother. We didn’t treat them any differently and both were brought up fully as part of a large family.

    I often get told that they are not my ‘real’ brothers, which really annoys me. What makes a ‘real’ brother exactly? You can have two siblings that were borne from the same womb but not have anything in common and you can have two adoptive siblings who get on like a house on fire. As far as I am concerned, they are my real brothers and as much a part of me as my other siblings. How could they not be? We grew up together and shared experiences together in the same family.

    My elder brother however grew distant in his later years and now doesn’t have any contact with me at all. I don’t know if the fact that he is adopted makes that easier for him, but it certainly doesn’t make it any easier for me. I realise they have birth parents out there and possibly even birth siblings, but I wasn’t even around when my eldest brother was adopted and was only 3 years old when my mother brought my youngest brother home. So I’ve loved them all my life.

    I don’t think that anyone who has not experienced adoption can really know how it feels. There is this presumption that you somehow love them less or can excuse faults as the consequences of their adoption. This is an insult to all those who adopt and those who are adopted.

    Now if someone dares to say something to me about them not being my ‘real’ brothers I respond with a good punch under the ribs and retort “No, just like that wasn’t a real punch”. And yes, I have done that once to a male friend – he never mentioned it again!

    Thanks for writing about adoption on your blog, it was a lovely read and I’m glad people are happy to talk about it.

  2. Hello. Such an open and honest post. I do know a couple of people that are adopted, but never felt that I could ask them about it. I often wondered how they felt though. Your post gives a great insight into some of the issues and feelings adopted people and their wider families face – and I’m sure only just scratches the surface. Thanks for sharing on such a personal issue. x

  3. Hi Kate, what a brave post. I have a tear in my eye for you. Two thoughts: firstly, I am not adopted but often wonder(ed) if I was. I look like my mother so I know I’m not, but I am SO, SO different from her. Violence is not in the genes, don’t worry about it. Nuff said, as they say. Secondly, said mother had a child adopted before she had me and my sister. She never told us. I heard from one of her useless boyfriends when I was about 14. I know it’s true, there was other evidence. Nuff said there too. Hugs for you. Polly x

  4. I too am an adopted child, in my mid 40’s now. So many of your feelings list hit home with me, we are a tribe us adoptees, only we know that sense of loss, even when we are found. I located all my birth family when I was 40, it has its ups and downs, but more ups than downs. There is tension on one half of the family because they didnt know of my existence and I am the result of an affair, however we are working through the issues, and the other half knew about me so the door was always open, I just wished I’d knew that, Ive lost so much time not knowing my siblings of which I found 8.

    I have to consider myself very lucky – lucky that I located both birth mother and father and was accepted immediately without condition and have built bridges with my siblings despite a rocky start. I know of many adoptees whom weren’t accepted and had a 2nd rejection which must hurt like hell, the secrets of the past just couldn’t be let go for many birth mothers and they continue to live a lie without knowing how that rejection must feel.

    rhubarb0 – your comment warms my heart, how you just accepted your brothers even though they were of a different ethnicity – God Bless you for that – if the world had more of you – what a wonderful world it would be.

    God Bless ALL the adoptees and adoptive families of this world.

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